Skip to main content

Gail Asper's latest revelations about the out-of-control spending on the CMHR


The Winnipeg Free Press is working so hard at being trendy that its forgotten something important---to report the news.

This week they were hyping an appearance at the trendy Winnipeg Free Press News Cafe by trendy millionaire moocher Gail Asper.

News Cafe website:
"Join the Free Press for a (late) Power Lunch with Gail Asper, No. 2 on the Winnipeg Free Press Power 30 list, at the Winnipeg Free Press News Café... Hear the inside scoop from the woman behind the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, one of the most-anticipated projects in Winnipeg's history."

18 people showed up.

Once Gail Asper got her mouth running, she unleashed a series of bombshells, none of which has been reported in the pages of the FP. So we'll do their job instead.

Gail Asper revealed:

* The fund-raising Friends of the CMHR haven't raised a penny in the first seven months of 2011.
* The cost of construction has risen $3.6 million.
* The cost of the museum might go even higher, and Gail Asper doesn't care if it does.
* She expects the CMHR will eventually attract as many as 850,000 people a year to Winnipeg.

- The $25 million hole in the construction budget that was there in December is still there today, and that's after factoring in another $3.6 million from the City of Winnipeg.

The new cost overrun is obviously being plugged by the City. This explains why Mayor Sam Katz spearheaded a city council resolution to kickback precisely $3.6 million to the museum from taxes it will allegedly pay. The CMHR hasn't paid its property or school taxes for two years.

- Host/interviewer Geoff Kirbyson asked as gently as possible whether costs were still rising.

With another year and a half until the museum opens, he said, is there a chance that the fundraising goal might go up even more?
"I can't really say," answered Gail Asper. "I certainly hope not. There's contingency funds.."

No, there's not. The contingency was eaten up two years ago. There's no gravy left.

- Still, Gail Asper patted herself on the back for a job well done regardless of cost.

"I think we're doing incredibly well coming in at $45 million (in construction cost overruns) for obviously what is a really, really complicated building."

- For the first time ever the source of the estimate of tourists expected to visit the CMHR was revealed.

Museum CEO Stu Murray has been claiming its from a study prepared by Manitoba Statistics, but Gail Asper said the number 250,000 came from a museum planning and design company in Toronto.

It took no time to dig up the name of the company, Lord Cultural Resources.

Asper said they told her that the CMHR building in New York would attract two million people a year, but in an isolated city like Winnipeg, 250,000 people was possible.

She said that she not only expects the museum to reach the 250,000 tourists a year mark, but to exceed it by leaps and bounds. Her model for the CMHR project, the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, Spain, now attracts 850,000 people a year ten years after opening, she said.

- Asper inadvertently exposed more than expected about the cozy relationship she has with the Winnipeg Free Press, a close financial and personal relationship that exceeds any ethical boundary between a newspaper and a newsmaker.

It's proof that anything written in the FP about the CMHR is nothing more than propaganda.

In thanking donors to the museum, Asper added
"including the Winnipeg Free Press. The Free Press has been a phenomenal financial supporter. You've given us a lot of coverage. You've also given us major ad space so we can celebrate our victories on the campaign from the Free Press. Thank you very much for all of that. I really appreciate it."

Even Kirbyson, a reporter at the FP, appeared embarassed by the gushing disclosure into how hand-in-glove the newspaper's relationship with Gail Asper is.

But she wasn't finished.

- Feeling among friends, she felt free to engage in the insufferable hubris you expect from the Asper clan.

Kirbyson was setting up a question about how much credit the museum deserved for bringing tourists to Winnipeg when so many other developments are taking place, from the return of the Jets, to a new airport, to a new stadium when Gail Asper interrupted him.

"A new stadium."
"A new stadium," he said, picking up on her reference to the family connection.

"Thanks to David Asper," she said. "David Asper Stadium, I think it should be called."

Say what?

Name a stadium after a failed businessman who scammed the city for $4 million?

Are you trying to intimate there would be no new stadium without David Asper?

There were several other stadium plans in the mix, from successful businessmen, and the outstanding question is why the province and Sam Katz (okay, the province, we know Katz is in the Asper pocket) favoured David Asper over the others.

His wacko scheme stunk from Day One and everybody knew it. Now we're stuck with a stadium we can't afford in a location that doesn't want it.

For generations we'll be taking school tax money from children in one end of town to pay for a stadium in another part of town. And David Asper collected $4 million from taxpayers to repay him for a risk nobody but his ego asked him to take.

So the taxpayer is stuck making good on a gamble he made and for that we should name a stadium after him? Maybe it makes sense to Sam Katz.

- And it makes sense to Gail Asper who's now on the gravy train herself. Free travel and accomodations around the world for life, thanks to her position on the CMHR board. She gets to travel and insult all the world's ethnic groups who don't agree with her strident extremist positions on museum content while the Free Press kowtows to her.
Which is why Kirbyson never asked her about her insults aimed at the Ukrainian community of Winnipeg and Canada. Instead, his first question was:

"Did you get Winnipeg Jets tickets?"

Popular posts from this blog

The unreported bombshell conspiracy evidence in the Trudeau/SNC-Lavelin scandal

Wow. No, double-wow. A game-changing bombshell lies buried in the supplementary evidence provided to the House of Commons Judiciary Committee by former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould. It has gone virtually unreported since she submitted the material almost a week ago. As far as we can find, only one journalist-- Andrew Coyne, columnist for the National Post--- has even mentioned it and even then he badly missed what it meant, burying it in paragraph 10 of a 14 paragraph story. The gist of the greatest political scandal in modern Canadian history is well-known by now. It's bigger than Adscam, the revelation 15 years ago that prominent members of the Liberal Party of Canada and the party itself funneled tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks into their own pockets from federal spending in Quebec sponsoring ads promoting Canadian unity. That was just venal politicians and a crooked political party helping themselves to public money. The Trudeau-Snc-Lavalin scandal is

Manitoba Hydro is on its deathbed. There, we said it.

Manitoba Hydro is on its deathbed. Oh, you won't find anyone official to say it. Yet . Like relatives trying to appear cheery and optimistic around a loved one that's been diagnosed with terminal cancer, the people in power are in the first stage of grief -- denial. The prognosis for Hydro was delivered three weeks ago at hearings before the Public Utilities Board where the utility was seeking punishingly higher rates for customers in Manitoba. It took us this long to read through the hundred-plus pages of transcript, to decipher the coded language of the witnesses, to interpret what they were getting at, and, finally, to understand the terrible conclusion.  We couldn't believe it, just as, we're sure, you can't--- so we did it all again, to get a second opinion, so to speak.  Hydro conceded to the PUB that it undertook a massive expansion program--- involving three (it was once four) new dams and two new major powerlines (one in the United States)---whi

Crips and Bloodz true cultural anchors of Winnipeg's aboriginal gangs

(Bebo tribute page to Aaron Nabess on the right, his handgun-toting friend on the left) At least six murder victims in Winnipeg in the past year are linked to a network of thuglife, gangster rap-styled, mainly aboriginal street gangs calling themselves Crips and Bloods after the major black gangs of L.A. The Black Rod has been monitoring these gangs for several months ever since discovering memorial tributes to victim Josh Prince on numerous pages on Bebo.com, a social networking website like Myspace and Facebook. Josh Prince , a student of Kildonan East Collegiate, was stabbed to death the night of May 26 allegedly while breaking up a fight. His family said at the time he had once been associated with an unidentified gang, but had since broken away. But the devotion to Prince on sites like Watt Street Bloodz and Kingk Notorious Bloodz (King-K-BLOODZ4Life) shows that at the time of his death he was still accepted as one of their own. Our searches of Bebo have turned up another f

Nahanni Fontaine, the NDP's Christian-bashing, cop-smearing, other star candidate

As the vultures of the press circle over the wounded Liberal Party of Manitoba, one NDP star candidate must be laughing up her sleeve at how her extremist past has escaped the scrutiny of reporters and pundits. Parachuted into a safe NDP seat in Winnipeg's North End, she nonetheless feared a bruising campaign against a well-heeled Liberal opponent.  Ha ha.  Instead, the sleepy newspeeps have turned a blind eye to her years of vitriolic attacks on Christianity, white people, and police. * She's spent years  bashing Christianity  as the root cause of all the problems of native people in Canada. * She's called for  a boycott of white businesses . * And with her  Marxist research partner, she's  smeared city police as intransigent racists . Step up Nahanni Fontaine, running for election in St. John's riding as successor to the retiring Gord Macintosh. While her male counterpart in the NDP's galaxy of stars, Wab Kinew, has responded to the controversy over

Exposing the CBC/WFP double-team smear of a hero cop

Published since 2006 on territory ceded, released, surrendered and yielded up in 1871 to Her Majesty the Queen and successors forever. Exposing the CBC/FP double-team smear of a hero cop Some of the shoddiest journalism in recent times appeared this long August weekend when the CBC and Winnipeg Free Press doubled teamed on a blatant smear of a veteran city police officer. In the latest example of narrative journalism these media outlets spun stories with total disregard for facts that contradicted the central message of the reports which, simplified, is: police are bad and the system is covering up. Let's start with the story on the taxpayer funded CBC by Sarah Petz that can be summed up in the lead. "A February incident where an off-duty Winnipeg officer allegedly knocked a suspect unconscious wasn't reported to the province's police watchdog, and one criminologist says it shows how flawed oversight of law enforcement can be." There you have it. A policeman, not

Winnipeg needs a new police chief - ASAP

When did the magic die? A week ago the Winnipeg police department delivered the bad news---crime in the city is out of control. The picture painted by the numbers (for 2018) was appalling. Robberies up ten percent in  a single year.  (And that was the good news.) Property crimes were up almost 20 percent.  Total crime was 33 percent higher than the five year average. The measure of violent crime in Winnipeg had soared to a rating of 161.  Only four years earlier it stood at 116. That's a 38 percent deterioration in safety. How did it happen? How, when in 2015 the police and Winnipeg's police board announced they had discovered the magic solution to crime? "Smart Policing" they called it.    A team of crime analysts would pore through data to spot crime hot-spots and as soon as they identified a trend (car thefts, muggings, liquor store robberies) they could call in police resources to descend on the problem and nip it. The police